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NC Sea Grant Starting 3 New Fisheries Research Projects

Consumers who visit fish markets like Capt. Jim’s Seafood of Morehead City (above) can get information about seasonality and availability of species. The full supply chain will be part of new fisheries economics research. Photo courtesy of Vanda Lewis.


Contact: Katie Mosher, 919-515-9069,

Teams led by North Carolina Sea Grant extension specialists are starting three new research projects, thanks to grants from the N.C. Commercial Fishing Resource Fund. Dispersion of monies falls under the Marine Fisheries Commission’s Commercial Resource Fund Committee and the Funding Committee for the N.C. Commercial Fishing Resource Fund.

The new projects cover economics, fishing industry training and oyster harvest enhancements. “We are pleased that the funding reflects the strength of the research proposals and the project teams we assembled,” notes Frank Lopez, North Carolina Sea Grant extension director.

Jane Harrison, Sea Grant’s coastal economist, is leading a team to consider the economic impacts of the wild-caught commercial fisheries’ harvests, including the fishing fleet and the supply chain that brings the fish and shellfish to consumers.

The research team also includes Barry Nash, Sea Grant’s seafood technology and marketing specialist; Chris Dumas, economist at the University of North Carolina Wilmington; Eric Edwards and Sara Sutherland, agricultural and resource economists at NC State University; and John Whitehead, an economist at Appalachian State University.

Sea Grant’s fisheries specialists, Scott Baker and Sara Mirabilio, will host in January 2020 a networking and skill-building workshop for a rising generation of men and women involved in commercial fishing. The effort builds upon an earlier series of workshops — coined Fish Camps — that were part of a Sea Grant-funded social science research project looking at aging in the fishing fleet as younger people seek jobs outside of the industry.

Workshop topics range from business management, to fisheries science — even the role of North Carolina seafood in the global marketplace. Partners on the project include: Barbara Garrity-Blake, adjunct scientist, Duke University Marine Laboratory; Susan West, freelance journalist; and UNC-TV.

Lopez will lead the team looking to confirm “spat on shell” demonstration sites to enhance wild oyster stocks and potential harvests. The N.C. Farm Bureau is a key partner on the project, along with the N.C. Fisheries Association.


Watch the North Carolina Sea Grant website,, for updates on these projects, including a blog post today about the fisheries economics study.